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J’Accuse! Google Draws Ire From Europe

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Publishers associated with the European Publishers Council have had enough of search engines sponging off their provided content and making billions without sharing the wealth.

Fair use isn’t fair to publishers, the message goes. An AP story reported how publishers in Europe have taken a very public stance behind Agence France-Presse (AFP) and its lawsuit against Google for copyright violations.

The EPC delivered some incendiary remarks directed at Google by name and search engines in general during remarks given at a conference in Brussels:

“The new models of Google and others reverse the traditional permission-based copyright model of content trading that we have built up over the years,” said Francisco Pinto Balsemao, the head of the European Publishers Council…

“It is fascinating to see how these companies ‘help themselves’ to copyright-protected material, build up their own business models around what they have collected, and parasitically, earn advertising revenue off the back of other people’s content,” he said.

“This is unlikely to be sustainable for publishers in the longer term.”


AFP’s complaints began in March, and it has sued Google for $17.5 million in damages caused by Google News aggregating AFP content provided to sites that subscribe to AFP. Google in turn has said it removes sites from Google News upon request, which it has done for AFP, but most prefer to be included in the service.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

J’Accuse! Google Draws Ire From Europe
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